14 MAGNET EDITION | 2018 | www.advanceweb.com PATIENTS  |  MAGNET EDITION H ospitals can be scary places for patients. Upon entry, you are stripped of your clothes and belongings. You are given a gown to wear with no backside. You sit in a bed with intricate electrical buttons. One button in particular is a lifeline of sorts. It’s the one you press when you are in pain. It’s the one you press when you need help. It’s the one you press to call a nurse! Believe it or not, some patient satisfaction scores are based on how quickly and efficiently nurses answer a patient’s call light. That’s the stuff that drives better patient care. It’s what hospitals spend time, money, and energy enforcing when seeking ANCC Magnet designation. In the United States, there are around 500 Magnet hospitals (8 percent of all U.S. hos- pitals). They include most of the country’s leading medical centers. And yes, Magnet des- ignation is competitive! Back in the 1980s, hospitals were facing nursing shortages. Certain hospitals were bet- ter able to retain nurses than others. A study by the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) identified 41 hospitals that acted as “magnets” for nurses because of the more supportive work environments. Research by Kramer and Hafner confirmed that AAN Magnet hospi- tals had common organizational features not found in other hospitals that were associated with higher nurse satisfaction and retention. Aiken and colleagues followed with a study showing that the AAN-identified hospitals also had better patient outcomes—namely lower hospital mortality— than matched hospitals. ANCC Magnet designation was born in 1990. The ANCC is the organizational com- ponent of the American Nurses Association, which developed a voluntary recognition program for formally credentialing Magnet organizations. The first Magnet hospital was credentialed in 1994. THE FIVE KEY PRINCIPLES TO MAGNET STATUS The following principles are incorporated in Magnet status: • Transformational leadership • A structure that empowers staff • An established professional nursing prac- tice model • Support for knowledge generation and application • Ro b u s t q u a l i t y i m p r o v e m e n t mechanisms But what does it all mean for patient care? Why does it matter? And how does it benefit that patient wearing a gown with no backside ringing the call light button? “When nurses come into a patient’s room to answer a patient’s call light, they are face- to-face with their patient. They are connect- ing with their patients to fulfill their needs. They are being conscious and present in the moment,” states Sherry Mendelson, PhD, RNC, CNS, IBCLC. Dr. Mendelson is the Magnet Program The impact of ANCC Magnet designation on patient outcome Does Magnet status serve as a motivator for professionals? By Ersilia Pompilio, RN, MSN, PNP